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Sustainable and inclusive communities creating their own social, economic and environmental futures.

Community Social Planning Council

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Financial Empowerment Resource Network

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About the Initiative

Community Social Planning Council leads this collaborative initiative to increase, expand and improve the resources and support available in Greater Victoria for individuals to develop greater financial literacy. We are bringing together organizations, educators, financial professionals and any other interested stakeholders to create a “community of practice” that will focus on financial literacy, financial inclusion and asset-building as pathways out of poverty.

This project looks at financial empowerment for low-income and under-served populations in Greater Victoria. We recognize that an individual’s level of income or wealth is not an indicator of whether they are more or less financially literate, and there need to be supportive policies and services in place to help someone increase their financial empowerment.

We do this through several types of activities:

  • Community-owned curriculum development for financial empowerment for various vulnerable populations;
  • Supporting professional development in the field of financial empowerment for staff of community organizations, social workers and other kinds of people who work with and support people who are living on low incomes;
  • Promoting the development and continuation of innovative service delivery for low-income audiences that addresses financial literacy, inclusiveness of/access to financial services, and building assets;
  • Providing a community resource for learning & sharing about best practices in supporting low-income populations to develop and enhance their financial knowledge, assets and access to financial services.
  • We're aiming to include everybody who has something to contribute to financial empowerment of low-income people in our community.


Community Action Plan on Poverty

The Financial Empowerment Resources Network has evolved as an action to reduce and prevent poverty in Greater Victoria. The principles of this project align with the Community Action Plan on Poverty.



Community Resource GuideCommunity Resource Guide image

The Financial Well-being Community Resource Guide is a collection of over 60 programs and services in Greater Victoria (or accessible by toll-free call) which address the financial needs of people living on no, low or moderate incomes. The resources are indexed according to different needs to help you find resources that are relevant to the situation you're facing right now.

The resources in this guide specifically relate to financial topics, with some cross-over into legal or housing issues that have financial implications. We've tried to be quite focused on the financial field so we don't duplicate other excellent guides. Almost all of these resources are non-profit, government or cooperative associations with a mandate to serve the community. The rare exceptions provide services that are difficult to access, and they've been recommended for their inclusive approach to serving the community.

This Guide doesn't reference all of the government financial assistance programs available, because they are rapidly changing and difficult to navigate. Instead, this Guide includes organizations where you can go to find help navigating government or financial systems to get what you need.


Youth Financial Empowerment Toolkit

This Toolkit is a resource for supporting low-income and vulnerable youth in developing their financial well-being and developing a sense of empowerment for their futures.

Taking a Needs-Based Approach to Financial Literacy - Report


Making Sense of Talking Cents - Resource list

Money Troubles: Financial Implications for Families in Conflict
Presenter: Communica: Dialogue and Resolution Society 

Workshop Handouts:

Savings & Asset-building for People with Low Incomes
Presenter: Melanie Buffel, Money Coach and Consultant

Workshop Resources:

Keeping Seniors Safe from Financial Abuse

Presenter: BC Centre for Elder Advocacy & Support

Workshop Resources:

Financial First Aid for Service Providers

Presenter: Credit Counselling Society

Workshop Resources:

Understanding Cognitive Impairments & their Influence on Handling Finances

Presenter: Brenda Williamson, Community Living BC  

Workshop Resources:


FERN Pinterest Page - online resources

Financial Empowerment Terms & Meanings 


Completed Projects and Events

Making Sense of Talking Cents - Professional Developmnet for Front-Line Workers (2014-1015)

FERN Money Fair (2015)

TAPS/FERN Financial Information Fair (2014)


Funding for this initiaitive generously provided by:

TDFL logo

Catherine Donnelly Foundation            Vancouver Foundation           

Coast Capital Savings           Township of Esquimalt